Former Springbok rugby captain Jean de Villiers will in November share his thoughts on overcoming obstacles, rising to challenges and reaching the pinnacle. He will be speaking at a motivational breakfast to be held at The Boardwalk’s Convention Centre on November 24 at 7.30am.
De Villiers announced his retirement from test rugby in September last year following a jaw fracture he sustained at the Rugby World Cup. “Injuries are part of rugby and I’ve had my fair share, so by now I know how to cope with them. It’s very sad, but life goes on. I need to take it all in and move forward,” he said at the time.
Since retiring from test rugby he has signed with SuperSport. He has joined the SuperSport panel, which includes the likes of Nick Mallet, Bobby Skinstad, Ashwin Willemse and Naas Botha. Capped 109 times by South Africa, he now works as an in studio analyst and also carries out live outside broadcasts.
Over the years, De Villiers has overcome several setbacks and recovered from numerous injury blows to build a reputation as one of the world’s best inside centres. He made his first impact at international level in the South African Sevens team, playing a major role in teams that finished second in the 2001-02 IRB World Sevens Series and third in the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
His performances, that included four tries, saw him rewarded with his first senior cap against France in 2002. By 2004 he had re-established himself within the international ranks and featured in South Africa’s 2004 Tri-Nations success.
The following year saw him make the inside centre position having won the majority of his previous caps on the wing and he would go on to captain the Springboks against the World XV at Ellis Park in 2006. He was a regular for the Springboks throughout the 2007 season but a torn bicep injury ruled him out of what would be a victorious 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign.
De Villiers’ strong run of form continued in 2008 and he played in all 13 of the Springboks’ test including the historic win over New Zealand at Carisbrook and all three matches on their undefeated tour of the UK.
He was also named both the SA Rugby Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year.
In South Africa he played his domestic rugby for Western Province in the Currie Cup and the Stormers in Super Rugby, whom he captained during the 2008 season.
In February 2010, De Villiers announced his intention to leave Munster in order to secure a place in the South Africa squad at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and in June agreed a move back to Western Province and the Stormers.
When De Villiers announced his retirement last year, South Africa head coach, Heyneke Meyer paid tribute to De Villiers, saying: “Rugby will be poorer without him [De Villiers]” and adding that “He is a true ambassador for South Africa”.
* Tickets cost R250 per person and are available with Michelle Brown on firstname.lastname@example.org